Art Noonan, the second in command at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, has resigned after less than three years on the job to take a position with NorthWestern Energy.
Noonan, whose last day was Friday, will work out of NorthWestern’s Helena office, advising the private company on governmental affairs. He has an extensive background in politics, working for the Montana Legislature, with former U.S. Rep. Pat Williams and Sen. John Melcher, and was elected to the Montana House, representing Butte. Noonan also had been director of the Montana Democratic Party.
He’s excited to work in business after working in public policy all his life.
“I see this as a personal growth thing,” Noonan said. “I loved the time I spent at Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the people I worked with. It’s a place where there’s a lot of excitement.”
He said he’s proud of being able to work through the last “difficult” legislative session during which FWP came under fire on a range of issues, including wolf and bison management, the potential separation of the parks division from the department and public land purchases by FWP.
“Those were incredibly difficult interactions, particularly with wolves, and I think the department handled the situations with integrity and moved (the wolf) issue forward,” Noonan said.
Noonan was hired by FWP Director Joe Maurier in June 2009 to be the deputy director. In January, he was one of about 650 FWP employees who were given raises after having their salaries frozen for about four years; Noonan’s raise was 12 percent, which brought his salary from $85,508 to $96,429. The raises were part of an effort by FWP to recruit and retain employees by implementing competitive salaries.
According to a recruitment job description, the new deputy director will be responsible for the daily operations of FWP, including reviewing personnel matters, contracting and maintaining liaisons with other agencies, elected officials and sporting and conservation groups as well as other organizations.
The closing date for the job is June 1.
Reporter Eve Byron: 447-4076, firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter.com/IR_EveByron